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charlie brown

Starting to wonder, if I love the "idea" of a Les Paul, more than the guitar, itself?

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Forgive me, if this is heresy, But...

I have always owned (at least) one Les Paul model, guitar, since 1968. A new Les Paul Custom, at that time.

And, I DO love how they sound, quite often. But, for playability, weight, and tone, the SG has just about

taken over, as my "go to" guitar. Odd, since I didn't own an SG, for almost 40 years. Most of the "old timer's"

here, know why, as I've been over it, time and time again. [tongue]

 

Now that I have SG's (4) again, and ironically, mostly '61 "Les Paul" reissue, spec's, I'm struggling to even

get out the typical (single horn) Les Paul's anymore. Probably mostly due to weight, and upper fret access.

I still love the "look" of them, as much as I always have. But, if I'm being honest, here, I rarely play them,

anymore. Maybe I will, again, at some point, in the future? But, I'm not at all sure, right now. [unsure]

 

Do any of you have similar feelings, regarding the normal "Les Paul" models, even if it's not regarding SG's,

or even other Gibson guitars. Maybe you prefer a Strat or Tele, or some other model/brand? But, still won't

give up, on your beautiful "Les Paul's?"

 

Just curious, really. [tongue][unsure][biggrin]

 

 

CB

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Admittedly, I rarely play my Les Paul and I constantly think about getting rid of it. I prefer a Stratocaster. It's not the weight, but the feel of the instrument when I play it. It's probably because I primarily play a Fender P Bass and the shape of a Stratocaster is more familiar. I like the look of the Les Paul more, but as far as functionality and playability its the Stratocaster.

 

I can't even imagine playing a Les Paul Bass...

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Yeah, Strat's are hard to beat, for comfort, and looks, too! And, their unique, and versatile tone palette.

I STILL love my Les Paul's, but for some odd reason, I haven't played them, much at all, since getting the SG's.

I remember when I first got one of my SG's ('61 "Satin" Reissue), it took a short time, getting adjusted to all

that neck, availability...and not end up in the wrong key! LOL But, it was just a short adjustment. [biggrin]

 

Maybe(?) it's just a "phase," I'm going through??! [unsure] I may just get out my 2000 LP "Classic" and play

ONLY that guitar, for awhile, and see if that rekindles the passion, for my Les Paul's, once again? Who knows?

 

It's a nice "problem" to have, no doubt! [biggrin]:rolleyes:

 

CB

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Forgive me, if this is heresy, But...

I have always owned (at least) one Les Paul model, guitar, since 1968. A new Les Paul Custom, at that time.

And, I DO love how they sound, quite often. But, for playability, weight, and tone, the SG has just about

taken over, as my "go to" guitar. Odd, since I didn't own an SG, for almost 40 years. Most of the "old timer's"

here, know why, as I've been over it, time and time again. [tongue]

 

Now that I have SG's (4) again, and ironically, mostly '61 "Les Paul" reissue, spec's, I'm struggling to even

get out the typical (single horn) Les Paul's anymore. Probably mostly due to weight, and upper fret access.

I still love the "look" of them, as much as I always have. But, if I'm being honest, here, I rarely play them,

anymore. Maybe I will, again, at some point, in the future? But, I'm not at all sure, right now. [unsure]

 

Do any of you have similar feelings, regarding the normal "Les Paul" models, even if it's not regarding SG's,

or even other Gibson guitars. Maybe you prefer a Strat or Tele, or some other model/brand? But, still won't

give up, on your beautiful "Les Paul's?"

 

Just curious, really. [tongue][unsure][biggrin]

 

 

CB

 

No. The Les Paul is still the greatest guitar ever made as far as I'm concerned. SGs are Ok but I've never had the desire to own one. Why do you think your preference is just a "phase"? If you like the SG better you like the SG better.

 

Guitars are totally personal. I would never play an Airline fiberglass guitar but Jack White seems to have done OK with them. I think those Danelectro Longhorn basses (or whatever they're called) are ugly as sin but I heard that John Entwistle recorded the bass for My Generation on one. I can't stand PRS but a lot of people like them.

 

I don't think any of that is a "phase" it's just personal taste.

 

BTW, why is Les Paul in quotes in your post?

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I'm exactly the same about my SG, 6 years later. It's my first SG, it was a great idea, unfortunately not a great neck for me. It's going out in a couple weeks.

 

rct

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I'm with you on that 100% CB. I keep thinking I must have a Les Paul in my collection. I get one, I don't play it enough to justify having my money tied up in it, and it gets sold. My SGs, which are wired like a late 50s Les Paul, make all the same noises, plus they're lighter and have better access. If I get another Les Paul, it will have P-90s so it actually does something different than my SGs. Les Pauls sure are pretty, though!

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No. The Les Paul is still the greatest guitar ever made as far as I'm concerned. SGs are Ok but I've never had the desire to own one. Why do you think your preference is just a "phase"? If you like the SG better you like the SG better.

 

Guitars are totally personal. I would never play an Airline fiberglass guitar but Jack White seems to have done OK with them. I think those Danelectro Longhorn basses (or whatever they're called) are ugly as sin but I heard that John Entwistle recorded the bass for My Generation on one. I can't stand PRS but a lot of people like them.

 

I don't think any of that is a "phase" it's just personal taste.

 

BTW, why is Les Paul in quotes in your post?

 

The Les Paul is in quotes, because '61 SG's were the new "Les Paul" in '61. And, I just wanted to differentiate, between

my '61 Les Paul spec'd SG's, to those of the more common (non Custom Shop & non-HP Gibson USA) SG, these days.

In 2013, SG's were made (again) with '61 beveling, and horn tapering, which I MUCH prefer. In fact, I didn't buy an SG, when I

started playing again, after my 30 year hiatus, because, at that time, Gibson USA SG's didn't have those wider/deeper bevels,

or horn tapering, that I love. So, in 2013...I went SG "Crazy" and bought 4!

 

The reason I was talking "a phase," was because I have loved the single cutaway, and double cutaway Les Paul's for decades.

Since I got MY first one, in 1968...the first year they reintroduced them. Even during my hiatus, I ended up with 2, in storage.

Added the rest, much later, starting in the year 2000.

 

Anyway, that's why it "might" be just a "phase," and/or temporary slow down, on playing my single cutaway Les Paul's. :-k And,

I tend to do that...play one type, for awhile, then change to another type, or even brand. And, I know, I'm fortunate to be able to

do that. [biggrin]

 

Cheers,

 

CB

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I'm with you on that 100% CB. I keep thinking I must have a Les Paul in my collection. I get one, I don't play it enough the justify having my money tied up in it, and it gets sold. My SGs, which are wired like a late 50s Les Paul, make all the same noises, plus they're lighter and have better access. If I get another Les Paul, it will have P-90s so it actually does something different than my SGs. Les Pauls sure are pretty, though!

 

 

Yeah, IF (BIG IF) I got another Les Paul, it too, would have to have P-90's and a "Gold Top!" [thumbup][biggrin]

But, I'll wait for a Tradtional, or Classic version. I simply cannot justify, at my station in life, spending

6 Grand+, on a CS "True Historic" '52-56 version, regardless of how "Awesome" they are. [unsure][tongue]

 

CB

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I love the look and sound of a Les Paul but I hate the weight. I only played out with a Les Paul once, 15+ years ago. I love the weight of SGs so they are my go to now days.

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Yeah, IF (BIG IF) I got another Les Paul, it too, would have to have P-90's and a "Gold Top!" [thumbup][biggrin]

But, I'll wait for a Tradtional, or Classic version. I simply cannot justify, at my station in life, spending

6 Grand+, on a CS "True Historic" '52-56 version, regardless of how "Awesome" they are. [unsure][tongue]

 

CB

 

That's the exact Les Paul I'll get if I get another one. I really like the circa 2013 Traditional goldtop with P-90s. I haven't seen a decent bargain on one in a long time, though. They have a goldtop P-90 Tribute out now for $899, but its matte finish, no binding, rough grain, and you can cut a steak with the fret ends.

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Les Pauls are "home" to me. I always wanted one, played Teles & stratlike guitars until I found a used Les Paul only slightly out of my price range... I managed to buy that guitar, then another, & another... & another.

 

But I also like other guitars as well. For a while I played mostly Mockingbirds. I've got a '78 & '79 Deluxe. They're thin bodies like the SG, with great upper fret access. I also have a couple made recently with the Les Paul controls.

 

I also have a cou0le of Teles, a couple of Strats, & I recently bought a couple of PRSi... used S2 Standard 24 & a Standard McCarty.

 

But the Les Paul is still home.

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Personal 'take' on the Les Paul question....which many guitarists ask quite often.....dry.gif

 

Back in the early days of solid electrics....say late 40's early 50's.....a paper trace was taken of a Gibson archtop.....

 

This formed the basis for what became the Les Paul

 

Personal preference is for a hollow archtop or maybe a 335 at a stretch.....:blink:

 

No doubt the Les Paul has been the tool of choice for some iconic musics of several genres.....[thumbup]

 

My first decent solid electric was an SG which proved to be a fine workhorse

 

IMO the Les Paul became greater in image and cachet for the young players after Slash, Wylde, Rhoads et al.....

 

Amps like Marshall have become subconsciously optimised for the Les Paul

 

V

 

:-({|=

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I think I know what you mean, CB. My guitar collection is far more modest than most of you. I have a total of four guitars: 1) Les Paul, 1) SG, 1) Strat and 1) nice acoustic/electric. I've played on and off since I was 12 but for the past 15 years I've been playing regularly. After I bought my LP used about 7 years ago, I couldn't put it down and my Strat stayed in its case. I'm 64 now and have a rare nerve disease that makes my arms weak so I went on a search for a new guitar. It had to be lighter and easier for me to handle so, long story short, I bought an SG Standard. I love that guitar. It has the same pups and scale as my LP but with a lighter, thinner, contoured Strat-ish body. Perfect! Now I can't put my SG down and I wish I had tried one sooner. It's a great guitar. msp_smile.gif

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Hey CB,, it's the opposite for me.

 

I like the idea of the SG, and I have two - one has p90s which is a different animal while the other 490r/498t but for my ears, it doesn't do what my LP standards (2 of those too) do..

 

Just my preference, LPs are #1 in my book. -- while yer book is bound to be different cuz you wrote it..

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I played Flying V's for over 30 years before getting my first Les Paul. I had always wanted one but could never afford one until recently. My new Les Paul Standard is my "go to" guitar lately and has been since February. I love them all and I still play the Flying V's as well and it's like meeting up with an old friend and picking up where we left off. I'm very pleased with both of my Les Pauls, both the Standard and P90 Goldtop Tribute. They were definitely worth the wait. But, I also love my Flying V's and won't ever get rid of them.

 

I'd like to have a Strat and a Telecaster, just to have them. My four Gibsons will get more play than a Strat or Tele but those would be my version of just having them to have them. I had a Strat once and an SG and I liked them but didn't love them. My friend had a 1961 Les Paul, which looked like an SG. It was really cool to be able to play it.

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...Do any of you have similar feelings, regarding the normal "Les Paul" models, even if it's not regarding SG's,

or even other Gibson guitars. Maybe you prefer a Strat or Tele...

Not any more, CB.

 

Apart from a particularly brief fling with an awful mid-Norlin LP Custom in the early '80s I played Strats almost exclusively until c. 2008. For the next few years I played LPs almost exclusively. Now I play both types and each has its moments and primary purposes. I've never owned an SG and possibly never will. I find my LPs do everything I need from a 'bucker equipped guitar.

 

...I think those Danelectro Longhorn basses......are ugly as sin but I heard that John Entwistle recorded the bass for My Generation on one...

According to John Entwistle himself he eventually used an early-'60s 'L'-series Fender Jazz (#L89716 to be specific) on 'My Generation' but he did own a number of Danelectro basses - both 4-string and 6-string examples;

"Eventually, after recording three different versions of 'My Generation' I ended up with three Danelectros - all with broken strings! The strings were extremely thin and were irreplaceable. I decided that enough was enough and sold all three Danelectros and the Gretsch to buy a sunburst Jazz Bass. The final version of 'My Generation' was played on the Jazz with La Bella tape wound strings..."

 

(This info taken from J.E.'s book 'Bass Culture; The John Entwistle Bass Collection').

 

Pip.

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Has anybody given the ES Les Paul a good try? This might be a good option for us aging rockers. Not cheap, but a light alternative with the same neck feel possibly.

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When I got my 7.2 lbs 2003 CS-356 new almost 15 years ago it killed off my LP gas almost entirely. Light, versatile, comfortable, all the horsepower need. :)

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I did (recently) get out my Les Paul Classic Custom (Gold Top), and that was FUN! [biggrin]

But, the SG's are just so light, lovely, and have such access, they're hard to beat, IMHO.

Still, I DO love my Les Paul's. Can't really see selling or trading them. At least, not

in the foreseeable future.

 

CB

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I ended up with three Danelectros - all with broken strings! The strings were extremely thin and were irreplaceable.

 

huh??????

 

so... was he smokin too much crack or. --- you couldn't restring a danelectro bass?????

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I ended up with three Danelectros - all with broken strings! The strings were extremely thin and were irreplaceable.

 

huh??????

 

so... was he smokin too much crack or. --- you couldn't restring a danelectro bass?????

Don't know about the Danelectros specifically, but replacement of bass strings is a hassle with my Fender Mustang Bass. You might think it is just a short-scale bass like any other, but it isn't. The string portions between bridge saddles and ferrules on the back are that long that most manufacturers' E4 and A3 short-scale strings won't reach full taping diameter from bridge to nut. On the other hand, most medium-scale strings would reach full diameter to the tuner capstans what causes unstable tuning and possibly break of string. Fender strings do match, of course, but they discontinued the gauge I use and I still haven't found appropriate substitutes. :unsure:

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Here is my take on playability, tone and look of Les Paul single-cut versus SG. Most I write here reflects my experiences with the four Gibson SGs, the five Gibson and one Epiphone Les Paul guitars of mine.

 

So – playability first... [smile]

 

Like with Explorers, Gibson didn't have a good hand at selecting positions of the upper strap buttons on Les Paul and SG as well.

 

Les Paul guitars may easily slip off the strap when positioned with an up-angle. The solution is using strap locks and thus a comparatively easy fix. The weight of Les Paul guitars has never been a problem for me.

 

On SGs, the upper strap button makes the upper cutaway virtually useless, by its position itself as well as through the strap obstructing it to those who would like using it for the thumb.

 

The SGs' centre of gravity is quite debatable. Though not all of them are so neck-heavy that neck-diving occurs, next to none will stay at a considerable up-angle. Then there is the far reach to the lowest frets given by design (except 1970's SGs with the deeper neck set). These points combined call for either wearing an SG as far up as possible, practically right under the chin, or putting the fretting hand's thumb from the back of the neck over the fretboard, and either supporting the neck with the fretting hand or keeping the body down with the striking hand's forearm. I do the latter. Straps with a good grip, appropriate clothing and keeping still are of help but to my experiences not a complete solution.

 

When about tone, that of a Les Paul is fatter, and the sustain on the highest frets is superior. (This includes my Epiphone Les Paul.) The SG tone is punchier due to faster note decay. As always and with all other guitar models, I use Les Pauls and SGs depending on the song. Whatever supports my music best, is right! [biggrin]

 

As for looks, it is all about taste. I like the shapes of Les Paul and SG as well, and I think they both look nice with a finish I like. [thumbup]

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Well, I've never had an issue, with "neck dive" on ANY of my SG's (current, or the one's I had as a "kid!").

I guess, I've just been Lucky, that way? That issue seems to come up, here, a LOT! But, the only SG I

ever played that had noticeable "neck dive" was a "special" withe the crescent moon inlays, back in the

early 2000's. I played 3 different ones, in 3 different stores, and they ALL had really FAT necks, and

serious neck dive. But, none of the other SG's I played, in those stores, and none of mine, have ever

had even a hint of that. So...??? :-k[unsure][tongue]

 

As to tone, and playability, I've never had any negative experiences, with either! There are some slight

differences, as "Cap" indicated, but I think of those as Good differences, not as problems. I agree, too...

that each has their respective strengths, and applications, for certain songs. Just as a Strat, or Tele,

or ES-335, Gretsch or Ric, can.

 

But, I still love the weight, and the upper fret access, of SG's, and Double Cut Les Paul's. [biggrin]

 

 

CB

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It's probably just a phase CB - most teenagers go through several of them [biggrin] You'll grow out of it.

 

I played the same LP for about 25 years - it was like an extension of my arms. Then I made a 180 degree turn and went to a Strat for several years. Next I switched to an SG as my main guitar, then to a 336, then to a Taylor Solid Body electric, and eventually back to Les Paul.

 

I think you just get a feel for a certain guitar for awhile, and then it can change and you want to play something else. The weight and upper fret access are justifications for saying you want to play the SGs more. If weight is really a problem you can get an ultra modern weight relief LP, or a Les Paul Lite or Less that only weigh 6.5 pounds. As to the upper fret access, how often do you really go up to the 20th fret or beyond? On the lower strings those same notes are available lower on the neck using a different string. I play in a 3 piece band right now and I don't go way up the neck very often - certainly not often enough to say I can't play this model guitar.

 

As to the way they look that doesn't enter into it for me. I play my guitars to perform and get a certain sound. I can't really see what they look like while they are strapped on. Not to say I don't want a good looking guitar, the finish is a huge consideration when buying. When actually playing though I can't really see it very well.

 

As to tone I found SG and Les Paul surprising close. The SG seemed a bit brighter, but in a loud band live on a stage the subtle differences I heard didn't amount to much. As long as my guitar (LP or SG) sounded different from my bandmates Strat or Tele we were good. If I was primarily a recording artist that would be more of a factor.

 

Play your SGs for now as that is what you feel is right for you. But wait a year or so and you'll find you're back to the Les Pauls or the Rick.

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